We visited Corpus Christi last weekend for our annual 36 hour pre-Thanksgiving weekend trip, our first time leaving town this entire year. We stayed in an overpriced VRBO home, as per the usual, and even at thrice the cost, it’s always better than hotels. No kids running up and down halls, no slamming doors at midnight, no God-knows-what under a hotel bed that hasn’t been cleaned since the Obama administration, no sharing walls with anyone at all. We spent a total of about 20 minutes at the beach, none of us wanting to take a swim and spend our brief visit picking sand out of crevices. But it was nice just to breathe somewhere other than home for the first time this year. We still haven’t gathered with friends or family since pre-COVID, minus dropping off a meal and waving to my folks for Thanksgiving. I am so ready for this year to be over.
On the right, we see Charles Umlauf, Professor of Life Drawing and Sculpture, during his first year of teaching at the University of Texas. While you may not be familiar with his name, chances are you have heard of one of his art major students, Farrah Fawcett, who called Umlauf her “favorite professor.” Understandably, she posed for him as a muse, as well as sculpted on her own. Here they are in his studio, during a very stripey 1971.
Below is the bronze bust of a feathery Fawcett, made by Umlauf.
We lunched at Chuy’s today, where I’ve eaten since about 1983. They’re still using their crappy limited quarantine menu, while every single other restaurant around here has been full menu for months. Still, though, I can’t quit them, as their creamy jalapeno dip runs in my veins. And just as in every trip, someone with far deeper pockets than mine has ordered the fajitas. My head cocks quickly as I smell the meat and hear the sizzle from a black skillet passing our table. The fajitas seem to wink at me, as if to suggest today is my day to give in. I sigh longingly. No, fajitas, not today, my friend. But one day. One day, we will be together.
We didn’t know what to expect of our local polling place, a quick four minute drive from our home, when we stopped by this morning. Several cars lined the stretch of street up to the town hall, but to our surprise, no line existed. We donned our masks, went inside, handed them our registration cards and ID, used the touch screen in the polling booth, and were back in our car four minutes later. Add our names to the 21,500 early voters in our county so far. Easy peasy, life in the suburbs. Glad that’s done.
This ape found his Chiquita Banana.
Although we bristle at this now, this was the reality of a 70s frat “Jungle Party” on 11/11/76. As Bob Wills says, “Time changes everything,” and we can see why.
That’s the great thing about yearbooks; they never get re-edited. So while it reveals a context with which we might now be uncomfortable, it also shows us how far we’ve come.
During the Roaring 20s (as opposed to this current 20s, whose moniker remains to be seen, but I vote for Recovering) flying circuses and wing walkers were all the rage. I find it curious that they simply couldn’t paint in smaller font and thereby include all of the letters in TRANSPORT, but no matter. Although, technically, it could abbreviate TRANSPLANT as well. I would not volunteer for an aerial transplant.
1920 is most remembered as the year women got the vote, and perhaps these very women DID vote that year. However, this was a day of leisure, a pleasant afternoon of watching boats shuttle visitors to and from the San Jacinto battlegrounds in Houston. Most Texans know the battle happened in 1836, the year Texas won its independence from Mexico, in a fight that lasted 18 minutes and wound up with Santa Anna getting his boo-tay handed to him by Sam Houston.
And while this image seems so very long ago, and none of us was alive, let’s remember that John McCain’s mom was already EIGHT years old when this photo was taken, tackling third grade and cursive. Just throwing that out there for some perspective. And she’s STILL alive.